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Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

The Golden Rock - October 26th, 2008 Edition

Four more films to go at the HKAFF - Today is Claustrophobia and The Window is Yours, another PIA Film Festival film after yesterday’s Mime Mime and the PIA Film Festival talk.

- It’s looking to be a more active weekend at the Hong Kong box office this weekend. Tropic Thunder opened on top on Thursday with HK$531,000 from 31 screens. However, it’s not going to top the weekend box office, as the Hong Kong Film blog reports that High School Musical 3, which didn’t open until Friday here, opened with HK$1.15 million and will lead theweekend box office by a very large margin.

Even though a total of six films opened this weekend, only one other film got on the top 10 on Thursday, and that’s the film version of the TV drama Kurosagi. From just 3 screens, the swindler drama made HK$32,000 and will do relatively well for it’s limited number of screens. On the other hand, both Jacob Cheung’s Ticket and the Korean film A Man Who Was Superman opened on five screens, while Wushu - The Young Generation opened on 14 screens. None of them made more than HK$30,000 to get on Thursday’s top 10. I don’t expect to see them on Monday, either.

-The Japanese film Departures, which won the top prize at the Montreal World Film Festival and will represent Japan at the Academy Awards, has become a surprise hit for distributor Shochiku. It has now recorded more than 2 million admissions and made nearly 2.5 billion yen with no signs of dropping out of the top 10 soon.

Box Office Mojo has caught up with the Japan box office numbers, so it’s a good time to look at how other films are doing. Departures lost only 31% of its past weekend’s gross in its 6th week, and it’s the smallest drop in the top 10. The biggest drop goes to Wanted, which lost 55% in its 5th week. Even though Suspect X was on top for the 3rd weekend in a row, it lost nearly 40% of business, although this is fairly normal after a holiday weekend. Also worth noticing is that the box office has gotten so quiet that 3rd place film P.S. I Love You’s gross is 215% of the 4th place Departures. Also very depressing is the second weekend of Warner Bros.’ Get Smart, which saw a two-thirds drop in its second weekend and out of the top 10. Ouch.

- The Tokyo Film Festival Market has wrapped up on Friday, and while things didn’t match the excitement of opening day, organizers (at leasy Variety) were very happy, especially since so may buyers decided to skip the Asian Film Market in Pusan.

Meanwhile, Friend of Golden Rock Jason Gray was in the middle of it all, and posts the second part of his report on his blog.

Also, The Golden Rock will be offering a more personal perspective on the world of film market pitching hopefully next week. No worries, I’m not the one doing the pitching.

- The Pang Brothers have directed and produced 8 released movies under Universe since for 4 years. Now expect 10 more years and at least 2 confirmed films.

- China’s Huayi Brothers has announced a set of four films by major directors - Tsui Hark, Feng Xiaogang, Jack Neo, and Chen Kuo-Fu. Not sure if I’m excited about any of them, though.

- Earlier I reported that Red Cliff female lead Lin Chi-Ling signed on to be in Beverly Hills Ninja 2, which is set to be shot in Korea. However, Lin has now dropped out of the film, which now makes David Hasselhoff the biggest star on the film. As cool as the Hoff is, I’m not surprised if the Korean investors are now reconsidering the whole thing. Or they can always cast Vicky Zhao, the other Red Cliff female star.

- It’s reviews time! This week, Japan Times’ Mark Schilling reviews 90-year old veteran art director Takeo Kimura’s first film Yume no Mani Mani, which is playing at this Tokyo theater. Is that Asano in the trailer?  Variety’s Derek Elley looks at two Korean films - the hit period film The Divine Weapon and Choi Ho’s 70s music film Go Go 70s.

- Kind of like a review is this week’s Teleview column on the Daily Yomiuri, which looks at the Kyoka Suzuki-led drama Scandal.

- If you’re a Spongebob fan in China, start rejoicing: CCTV is bringing back 30 episodes of the popular American animated series after its last airing in December 2007.

- It’s a good weekend for Japanese trailers: Nippon Cinema brings us the trailers for the Takeshi Kaneshiro-starring action film K-20 and the latest “animal doing human jobs” film Neko Ramen Taisho, about a cat that becomes a ramen chef. Brilliant!

- The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, to be given out in Australia next month, has picked its competition jury.

- Japanese-American pop singer melody. has suddenly announced her retirement as a music artist, deciding that she will follow her dream to become a clothes designer. Her last high-profile job was the host of NHK’s English-language, oversea-aimed music show J-Melo, which presents Japanese pop music videos every week.

The Golden Rock - May 8th, 2008 Edition

- Finally got some Japanese box office numbers in, although it only covers Saturday and Sunday, which was the middle of the Golden Week holidays. As a result, most of the movies on the chart saw a rise from their previous weekend’s gross. For example, Shaolin Girl saw a 20% boost and has now grossed 715 million yen, despite a somewhat weak opening last weekend. But of course, the biggest boosts went to the kid-friendly films such as Conan (20.3%), Crayon Shin-Chan (27.7%), and The Spiderwick Chronicles (17.7%). However, the Masked Rider movie took a drop instead, losing 23.4% of business despite not losing any screens. Hollywood flick 10,000 B.C. also lost business, presumably because theaters put the more popular films on bigger screens and moved this to smaller ones.

- With its first hit in two years, Toei is now crossing their fingers on God’s Puzzle, Takashi Miike’s latest, to rebound them from what was their worst fiscal year in 20 years.

- Meanwhile, The Forbidden Kingdom has done solid business in China, making 150 million yuan since its release in late April already, partly thanks to the holiday last week.

- Things are not doing so well in Korea, where theaters saw April’s performance as the lowest monthly attendance figures since April 2003.

- However, local performance is not stopping them from taking their award-nominated films for a special showing in Japan.

- Earlier in the week, I mentioned that the Chinese distributor for the new Donnie fantasy film Painted Skin already estimated a final box office take simply based on screen counts. Now, the investors are so confident that not only did they already plan two sequels, they already assume they’re successful enough to raise the budget and get Zhang Ziyi for the second movie.

- The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which had its first year in Australia last year, is now adding an academy, with all the nominees from last year’s awards being included with voting powers for this year’s awards.

-  There’s a short teaser for the omnibus movie Tokyo!, though it doesn’t really show anything from any of the three films, which will get their premiere at Cannes this year.

- A Spanish film buyer has bought their first Asian film, and…it’s Taiwanese torture porn?

-  Hollywood Reporter’s Maggie Lee turns in a review for Sylvia Chang’s Run Papa Run.

-  Chinese president Hu Jintao told Japanese reporters that his favorite Japanese TV drama is the popular 80s morning drama Oshin. It would’ve been great if he said anything with Kimura Takuya in it, but alas, that was not to be.

- My boy Jero has now joined the ranks of popular Japanese pop stars - he’ll be the spokesman for a new line of canned coffee.

The Golden Rock - November 26th, 2007 Edition

 - It’s Japanese drama ratings time! A total of 12 dramas hit their season-low ratings. They include Joshi Deka (season-high:  13.4, season-low: 7.8), Iryu 2 (season-high: 21.0, season-low: 14.1), Uta Hime (season-high: 9.8, season-low: 6.7), Dream Again (season-high: 12.9, season-low: 8.4), Hatachi No Koibito (season-high: 13.0, season-low: 6.4), and Abarenbo Mama (season-high: 15.3, season-low: 11.1).

On the other hand, Fuji dramas Galileo and SP remain fairly strong, and NTV’s Hataraki Man saw a pretty big rebound from last week’s 10.1 to this week’s 12.7. Still, things are pretty bleak overall.

All drama information can be found at Tokyograph 

-  It’s OK, Don, you did get this news first. Bayside Shakedown producer Chihiro Kameyama, who seems to be the only hitmaker for Fuji TV these days, will be teaming up with Bayside Shakedown screenwriter Ryoichi Kimizuka for a new police drama that does not have anything to do with the Bayside Shakedown series (contrary to the image on the main Variety Asia website). Dare Mo Mamotte Kurenai will star Japan’s favorite 14 year-old (fictional) mother Mirai Shida as the sister of a suspected murderer who is being protected by the cop who is also gathering evidence against her brother.

Kimizuka will be directing, his second film after the Bayside Shakedown spinoff The Suspect.

- In more Japanese drama-related news, Korean heartthrob Kwon Sang-Woo announced that he will be acting in a Japanese drama for Fuji TV that he would like to call a “Korean version of Notting Hill.” Blah.

- Peter Chan’s The Warlords is one of the biggest investments ever in the history of Chinese cinema. Turns out nearly half the damn budget went to the cast, including US$13 million for Jet Li.

- FilMeX wrapped up in Japan, and Hong Kong’s Milkyway is walking away as the big winner, with Yau Nai-Hoi’s Eye in the Sky winning the Special Jury prize and Johnnie To’s Exiled winning the audience award.

- Gong Li has taken up the lead for the Hollywood film Shanghai along with John Cusack. She’ll play some mysterious woman involved with the underworld, or something like that.

Anyway, the film will be directed by 1408’s Mikael Hafstrom and is expected to be released in 2009.

- Nothing to do with Asian entertainment, but I just thought it was kind of cool. Here’s a clip of newly elected Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaking Mandarin in a television interview with a Chinese TV station during his campaign. Rudd was a diplomat in China and started studying Mandarin when he was in college in the 70s.

The Golden Rock - October 4th, 2007 Edition

- I’m sure you all now know how well the uncensored prints of Lust, Caution have done in Asia, but what about the censored versions? As far as I know, a version that’s been cut by 11 minutes have been playing in at least Malaysia and Singapore. However, Malay censors went ahead and cut and another 3 minutes and barred anyone under 18 from seeing it anyway. Still, the formerly-erotic espionage drama. According to the distributor, the film is still doing rather well considering the genre, despite netizens aware and complaining about the censorship.

- Speaking of censorship, how will they pull this off? China’s Shenzhen Golden Coast Film had just optioned the remake rights for a Spanish comedy about an encyclopedia salesman who turns to making porn. The film is due to start production in the fall, and will of course have to be clean enough to clear Chinese censors.

- Eiga Consultant, in light of the recent controversy surrounding actress Erika Sawajiri, posted poll results to why people showed up to her latest film Closed Note. The ratio of male to female audience is 37 to 63, and a majority of audiences are in their 20s and under. When asked why they decided to go watch the film, 26.8% said the content seemed interesting, and the second biggest reason, with 14.4% of audience choosing it, is actually because they were fans of Sawajiri (as opposed to fans of Yuko Takeuchi, which only made up 10.8% of the audience). How come no one says it’s because of the director, especially since he made one of the biggest Japanese romantic blockbusters in recent years?

- The first Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which isn’t even taking place in Asia, has announced its nominees. The fact that I don’t know most of the nominated films means that they really are trying to look for the best Asian films out there, rather than your usual crowd favorites. An especially pleasant surprise for me is Ryu Deok-Hwan’s best actor nomination for Like a Virgin. Who says you can’t give a great performance in a comedy?

- Under your daily Pusan Film Festival news today, Japanese broadcaster TBS (TV networks are actually the biggest film producers in Japan) is sending quite a few interesting films to the festival. While many people are surely interested in Takashi Miike’s Crow Zero, I myself find Kenji Uchida’s After School the most interesting after his promising debut A Stranger of Mine. Is it really not coming out until May?

- On the other hand, meet Korea’s latest export to Hong Kong - Korean idol Lee Jun-Ki has just signed with Hong Kong entertainment conglomerate EEG. Unless he speaks really good Cantonese already, I have no idea what EEG will be doing with him, except making movies where his voice will be dubbed anyway.

- Also, yet another Korean-Chinese-Hong Kong co-production is on the way. This time it’s the Chinese comedy Let’s Fall in Love, with no actors or directors announced yet. That makes this news a bit of a waste of space.

- After D-War/Dragon Wars have made millions and millions of dollars around Korea and North America, director Shim Hyung-Rae has announced several follow-up projects, including the film’s sequel and a movie called Fish Wars. Really, I’m not shitting you.

- This blogger’s idol Hikaru Utada has broken yet another record - she is now the first artist in the world to break the 10 million-mark in digital sales within a year. Too bad her works this year just haven’t been up to par.

- Forget about remaking films based on novels, Hollywood is now going straight to the source, as Fox is planning to adapt the Japanese novel Goth with publisher Kadokawa Shoten producing. At least now they don’t have to worry about people comparing it with the original Japanese film because it doesn’t exist.

- There’s an English-subtitled trailer for the Korean film Le Grand Chef, a film based on the comic by the same author of the comic Tezza: The High Rollers. It’s a bit of a stretch, yes, but it still looks pretty interesting.

- There’s a review for Feng Xiaogang’s war film The Assembly by Variety’s Derek Elley (aka the guy who inexplicably panned Lust, Caution), which just had its world premiere today at the Pusan Film Festival.

The Golden Rock - August 30th, 2007 Edition

Call me lazy, call me tired, or just call it plain Thursday syndrome, but there’s again not all that much news out there.

- Everyone is trying to break into that China market, and the only way is co-produce them with China, and the only way to do that is to get Chinese government approval. The first successful Australian production to pull this off will be Roger Spottiswoode’s The Children of Huang Shi, co-starring Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh. In traditional ethnographic gaze, the film will be about a British journalist who team up with an Austrlian nurse to rescue Chinese children oppressed by the Japanese during World War II.

- The Hong Kong Asian Film Festival (smaller than the Hong Kong International Film Festival and a different organizer) will feature some pretty huge films this year, including Ang Lee’s Lust Caution (which is opening the festival), Lee Chang-Dong’s Secret Sunshine, Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises, and Jia Zhangke’s Useless.

- Speaking of Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, Lee said that while his film did get the most restrictive rating the American censors could give (NC-17 - no one under 17 may be admitted), he hopes to use it to change perceptions about the rating itself. While I would like to see Lee pull that off, I doubt it would be an Asian espionage triller that will do it. An NC-17 itself means that it won’t reach beyond the urban areas because newspapers won’t even advertise them, and theaterowners are too conservative to show them.

On the other hand, category-III films (no one under 18 may be admitted) are able to get wide advertising and theater bookings here in Hong Kong. And yet, society is somewhat more conservative. What’s the deal here?

- This all sounds a little complicated (it’s easy to get broadband TV here in Hong Kong, but how do you do it in the states, where all kinds of infrastructure problems can prevent it), but there is now a new way to get Asian programming into your American homes, thanks to (for once) American Chinese video content distributor Tai Seng.

- Jason Gray continues to try to spread word-of-mouth for the Pia festival winning film This World of Ours. I just requested for a copy of the film with the director Ryo Nakajima, so I’ll be checking it out and hopefully help him spread word. Why? Because I believe in good karma, especially for an aspiring director like myself.

- About freaking time. NHK chairman actually asks at a committee meeting to reduce license fee by 10%. That way, corrupted producers will have less money to pocket.

- Remember that “Sing this song and you’ll die” movie with the creative advertising? Densen Uta opened this past weekend in Japan on 106 screens and managed to make only 31.21 million yen, outside of the top 10. That opening is only 74% of the opening for the last teen girl-infected horror film Ghost Train.

The Golden Rock - August 30th, 2007 Edition

Call me lazy, call me tired, or just call it plain Thursday syndrome, but there’s again not all that much news out there.

- Everyone is trying to break into that China market, and the only way is co-produce them with China, and the only way to do that is to get Chinese government approval. The first successful Australian production to pull this off will be Roger Spottiswoode’s The Children of Huang Shi, co-starring Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh. In traditional ethnographic gaze, the film will be about a British journalist who team up with an Austrlian nurse to rescue Chinese children oppressed by the Japanese during World War II.

- The Hong Kong Asian Film Festival (smaller than the Hong Kong International Film Festival and a different organizer) will feature some pretty huge films this year, including Ang Lee’s Lust Caution (which is opening the festival), Lee Chang-Dong’s Secret Sunshine, Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises, and Jia Zhangke’s Useless.

- Speaking of Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, Lee said that while his film did get the most restrictive rating the American censors could give (NC-17 - no one under 17 may be admitted), he hopes to use it to change perceptions about the rating itself. While I would like to see Lee pull that off, I doubt it would be an Asian espionage triller that will do it. An NC-17 itself means that it won’t reach beyond the urban areas because newspapers won’t even advertise them, and theaterowners are too conservative to show them.

On the other hand, category-III films (no one under 18 may be admitted) are able to get wide advertising and theater bookings here in Hong Kong. And yet, society is somewhat more conservative. What’s the deal here?

- This all sounds a little complicated (it’s easy to get broadband TV here in Hong Kong, but how do you do it in the states, where all kinds of infrastructure problems can prevent it), but there is now a new way to get Asian programming into your American homes, thanks to (for once) American Chinese video content distributor Tai Seng.

- Jason Gray continues to try to spread word-of-mouth for the Pia festival winning film This World of Ours. I just requested for a copy of the film with the director Ryo Nakajima, so I’ll be checking it out and hopefully help him spread word. Why? Because I believe in good karma, especially for an aspiring director like myself.

- About freaking time. NHK chairman actually asks at a committee meeting to reduce license fee by 10%. That way, corrupted producers will have less money to pocket.

- Remember that “Sing this song and you’ll die” movie with the creative advertising? Densen Uta opened this past weekend in Japan on 106 screens and managed to make only 31.21 million yen, outside of the top 10. That opening is only 74% of the opening for the last teen girl-infected horror film Ghost Train.

The Golden Rock - August 21st, 2007 Edition

A really slow news day today, so this entry is mercifully shorter than usual.

- The Japanese box office numbers show that the weekend match-up between Ocean’s 13 and Harry Potter was much closer than I thought. Despite Ocean’s 37 % drop (in comparison to Potter’s 27%), the difference between the two films were only a little more than 2 million yen. Nevertheless, Ocean benefited from the holiday week, with 1.75 billion yen already in the bank. Plus, both these films are released by Warner Bros., so they win either way.

Like everywhere else it played, Ratatouille is holding on based on word-of-mouth, losing only 7% of its business from last weekend. The biggest drop again goes to the latest Naruto movie. Meanwhile, Isao Yukisada’s latest Into the Faraway Sky failed to attract audiences based on Yukisada’s name alone, making only 26 million yen from 121 screens.

The only opening that made it to the top 10 is Fumihiko Sori’s animated film Vexville. On 181 screens, the film only made 42 million yen. That’s only 66% of Fumihiko’s producing effort Appleseed’s opening. However, the film has been sold to 129 countries for distribution, so I’m sure these guys will make their money back.

- A bit outdated, but Stephen Chow’s latest is no longer called A Hope, but CJ7, which would be a more literal translation from the film’s Chinese name, which i have no idea how to type in pinyin.
- Aya Ueto is going to be playing her first role as a mother in the fall Fuji TV drama Wild Mama. Apparently she will be a stepmom that argues with a lot of people. How does that make good TV again?

- In an effort to make you look more forward to the awards and not concentrate on its redundancy, the Asia Pacific Film Awards (to take place in Australia, not Asia) has just completed a complementary program featuring interviews with a lot of big-name Asian directors. Well, at least big names to me, alright?

- Any amateur game developers now have a new goal to reach - a win at the Amateur Division of the Japan Game Awards.

- Major South Korean entertainment firm Sidus (and I say major because I see its logo quite often) is penetrating the US market by buying a slice of Asian-American-targeted cable network Imaginasian TV. This means expect more Korean entertainment on American cable television, and that ain’t bad.

See? mercifully short.

The Golden Rock - August 21st, 2007 Edition

A really slow news day today, so this entry is mercifully shorter than usual.

- The Japanese box office numbers show that the weekend match-up between Ocean’s 13 and Harry Potter was much closer than I thought. Despite Ocean’s 37 % drop (in comparison to Potter’s 27%), the difference between the two films were only a little more than 2 million yen. Nevertheless, Ocean benefited from the holiday week, with 1.75 billion yen already in the bank. Plus, both these films are released by Warner Bros., so they win either way.

Like everywhere else it played, Ratatouille is holding on based on word-of-mouth, losing only 7% of its business from last weekend. The biggest drop again goes to the latest Naruto movie. Meanwhile, Isao Yukisada’s latest Into the Faraway Sky failed to attract audiences based on Yukisada’s name alone, making only 26 million yen from 121 screens.

The only opening that made it to the top 10 is Fumihiko Sori’s animated film Vexville. On 181 screens, the film only made 42 million yen. That’s only 66% of Fumihiko’s producing effort Appleseed’s opening. However, the film has been sold to 129 countries for distribution, so I’m sure these guys will make their money back.

- A bit outdated, but Stephen Chow’s latest is no longer called A Hope, but CJ7, which would be a more literal translation from the film’s Chinese name, which i have no idea how to type in pinyin.
- Aya Ueto is going to be playing her first role as a mother in the fall Fuji TV drama Wild Mama. Apparently she will be a stepmom that argues with a lot of people. How does that make good TV again?

- In an effort to make you look more forward to the awards and not concentrate on its redundancy, the Asia Pacific Film Awards (to take place in Australia, not Asia) has just completed a complementary program featuring interviews with a lot of big-name Asian directors. Well, at least big names to me, alright?

- Any amateur game developers now have a new goal to reach - a win at the Amateur Division of the Japan Game Awards.

- Major South Korean entertainment firm Sidus (and I say major because I see its logo quite often) is penetrating the US market by buying a slice of Asian-American-targeted cable network Imaginasian TV. This means expect more Korean entertainment on American cable television, and that ain’t bad.

See? mercifully short.

The Golden Rock - August 19th, 2007 Edition

- I reported earlier in the week that Ocean’s Thirteen opened fairly huge in Japan last weekend, bumping Transformers all the way from first to third place. Turns out its 380 million yen opening is only 70% of Ocean’s Twelve and 54% of Ocean’s Eleven. However, the film did open just before the weeklong Obon holidays in Japan, which means it might catch during the week and for this weekend as well. With no big Hollywood blockbusters opening this weekend, that is certainly seeming more likely now. We shall know by Tuesday.

- As reported yesterday, four of the five Hong Kong TVB Tigers of the late 80s (sans Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) are reuniting for the latest film by director Derek Chiu Sung-Kei. Now we can report that Brothers will be coming in October, and the Chinese-language Hong Kong film blog has pictures from the press conference showing the all-male cast.

- After scoring 10 nominations at the Golden Bauhinia Awards (without screening it at all anywhere publicly), there’s a trailer out for Edmond Pang Ho-Cheung’s Exodus. It might just be a teaser, but this is looking to be easily the strangest Pang film yet. Add the poster now in HK cinemas, this is lining up to be one of the most intriguing-looking Hong Kong film in a long time.

- This week’s Teleview column on the Daily Yomiuri talks about the dramas Japanese television networks have for the fall to try and push the ratings back up. I don’t know, three detective dramas in one season looks to be a bit much.

- Yu Ha, who made the adult drama Marriage is a Crazy Thing in 2002, made two violent gangster dramas in a row- Once Upon a Time in High School and A Dirty Carnival. Now the poet/filmmaker is dipping his hand into the historical and possibly gay romance drama genre. Apparently, the director simply describes it as “a love story between men,” which would probably be a good pitch for Donnie Yen’s Flash Point.

- Japanese mega-producer Haruki Kadokawa and director Takashi Miike are teaming up (how many movies does Miike have in the pipe now? I count 3 including this one) for a sci-fi film named Kamisama no Puzzle (God’s Puzzle). I can’t tell whether it’s supposed to be a comedy or drama.

- Was anyone wondering how Andrew Lau’s Hollywood debut The Flock did in Japan (I believe it’s the first territory in the world to have it in theaters, but I could be wrong)? Along with The Pang Brothers’ The Messengers, The Flock opened on around 20-50 screens and ended up making less than 100 million yen. Yes, in Japan, they won’t even watch Hollywood films by Hong Kong directors.

100 million yen isn’t even US$1 million, by the way.

- Johnnie To’s Mad Detective (formerly named The Detective) is going to the Venice Film Festival after all. To refresh your memory, Mad Detective marks the first dramatic collaboration between Johnnie To and best actor winner Lau Ching-Wan since…..well, in a long ass time. That automatically should make it a film to look forward to.

- Hey, Australia. Don’t pirate movies and end up getting nothing like Canada.

Expect the Podcast to be back next week, and maybe that promised new feature tomorrow.

The Golden Rock - August 19th, 2007 Edition

- I reported earlier in the week that Ocean’s Thirteen opened fairly huge in Japan last weekend, bumping Transformers all the way from first to third place. Turns out its 380 million yen opening is only 70% of Ocean’s Twelve and 54% of Ocean’s Eleven. However, the film did open just before the weeklong Obon holidays in Japan, which means it might catch during the week and for this weekend as well. With no big Hollywood blockbusters opening this weekend, that is certainly seeming more likely now. We shall know by Tuesday.

- As reported yesterday, four of the five Hong Kong TVB Tigers of the late 80s (sans Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) are reuniting for the latest film by director Derek Chiu Sung-Kei. Now we can report that Brothers will be coming in October, and the Chinese-language Hong Kong film blog has pictures from the press conference showing the all-male cast.

- After scoring 10 nominations at the Golden Bauhinia Awards (without screening it at all anywhere publicly), there’s a trailer out for Edmond Pang Ho-Cheung’s Exodus. It might just be a teaser, but this is looking to be easily the strangest Pang film yet. Add the poster now in HK cinemas, this is lining up to be one of the most intriguing-looking Hong Kong film in a long time.

- This week’s Teleview column on the Daily Yomiuri talks about the dramas Japanese television networks have for the fall to try and push the ratings back up. I don’t know, three detective dramas in one season looks to be a bit much.

- Yu Ha, who made the adult drama Marriage is a Crazy Thing in 2002, made two violent gangster dramas in a row- Once Upon a Time in High School and A Dirty Carnival. Now the poet/filmmaker is dipping his hand into the historical and possibly gay romance drama genre. Apparently, the director simply describes it as “a love story between men,” which would probably be a good pitch for Donnie Yen’s Flash Point.

- Japanese mega-producer Haruki Kadokawa and director Takashi Miike are teaming up (how many movies does Miike have in the pipe now? I count 3 including this one) for a sci-fi film named Kamisama no Puzzle (God’s Puzzle). I can’t tell whether it’s supposed to be a comedy or drama.

- Was anyone wondering how Andrew Lau’s Hollywood debut The Flock did in Japan (I believe it’s the first territory in the world to have it in theaters, but I could be wrong)? Along with The Pang Brothers’ The Messengers, The Flock opened on around 20-50 screens and ended up making less than 100 million yen. Yes, in Japan, they won’t even watch Hollywood films by Hong Kong directors.

100 million yen isn’t even US$1 million, by the way.

- Johnnie To’s Mad Detective (formerly named The Detective) is going to the Venice Film Festival after all. To refresh your memory, Mad Detective marks the first dramatic collaboration between Johnnie To and best actor winner Lau Ching-Wan since…..well, in a long ass time. That automatically should make it a film to look forward to.

- Hey, Australia. Don’t pirate movies and end up getting nothing like Canada.

Expect the Podcast to be back next week, and maybe that promised new feature tomorrow.

 
 
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